Now before I start I just want to say that this article wasn’t born out of desire to express that I was a hard done by child. Quite the opposite in fact. I pretty much got everything I wanted. I was the youngest (and best obviously) of four children and was spoilt. Did I deserve it? Probably not. Would I rub my siblings faces in it? Of course, I’m the best one.
Anyway, despite the fact I did get pretty much everything I wanted there were some elusive items from my childhood. Things that looked so enticing within the pages of the 80s bible, or as we’d call it the Argos catalogue. It was an exciting moment when someone picked up the new Argos catalogue. What might the new toys be? There was always a better selection in the Autumn/Winter catalogue of course.
What’s Captain Power? I don’t know but the figures look cool. I must have them. I WILL have them.
Below are five toys/novelty items that I wanted but never got. Poor little tiny tears me…..WAAAAAAAAAH!
It crushes ice. That is literally all it does. You could get the same effects by wrapping some ice in a tea towel and smashing it with a rolling pin. But it looked exciting didn’t it? Crushing the ice through Mr Frosty’s head and have it explode from his guts like a crushed, frozen xenomorph. Then you could add strawberry syrup from the head of the penguin dispenser, pouring it slowly as if the poor animal has had a brain haemorrhage all over your cup of crushed ice. That’s all it was remember. Crushed ice. How can we make the chore of crushing ice exciting to kids? Pppph…a snowman. You can still buy these now. WHY?
The thing is, I didn’t even like Slush Puppies so why did I even want this? Because I’m a slave to advertising that’s why. Watching the advert now I still kind of want one. What’s wrong with me? Don’t answer that, I won’t like the responses.
Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bank
Me to my Mum, “It’s a great way for me to save my pocket money. And I’ll get a little treat each time as well. What an incentive.”
Me to myself, “ I’ll just smash that bastard open an scoff all the chocolate in one go if I get one. Then spend my pocket money on more chocolate. Then raid the cupboards for chocolate. Then look through bins for chocolate.” I was a fat, greedy child.
Even as a kid I knew this one didn’t make any sense. Why not just buy a bar of Dairy Milk? I don’t believe that any kid who got one of these controlled themselves to save money using it. Prove me wrong someone.
Now, I had Transformers, quite a few. The one that I always wanted was the massive Autobot City Metroplex. But at £40, roughly double that in today's money, it was not a piece of plastic that my parents (wisely I might add) would be willing to splash out on. Not for a plastic toy. No matter how GODDAMN AWESOME IT IS MUM AND DAD!
My friend George had one of these at his house. I would play with it when I visited. I politely asked his Mum for a drink at the dinner table once and she shouted at me and called me rude. Bitch! That was over 30 years ago. You would think I had gotten over it by now. I haven’t. Bitch!
You can buy Metroplex for around £35 on eBay now if anyone wants any ideas for me for Christmas. Just saying. AUTOBOTS ROLL OUT!
The Game of Life
I know what you’re thinking, why would a boy under 10 want the Game of Life? The damn advert. That stupid jingle has been in my head for over 30 years. I wanted to be a winner at the Game of Life. The advert said I could be.
I wanted to experience the fun of being an adult. Getting a degree, then a guaranteed high paying job leading to millionaire’s mansion. So exciting isn’t it? Being a grown up and having responsibilities. What child wouldn’t want to experience that on some scale before hitting puberty?
I had never actually played the game before we recently bought it in a charity shop on holiday. What a load of boring bullshit! So, I have to buy car and life insurance? In a board game? Piss off! The sound of the clicking wheel is nice though.
I was not a winner at the Game of Life. Neither was the board game as it was immediately re-donated to the bin.
A BMX Bike
I wanted to do BMX stunts, that was the long and short of it. I had seen BMX bandits and thought to myself ‘I can do that.’ In reality of course the minute I landed from a jump the wheels would have buckled and the bike would have been ruined. That’s why there were no fatties in the BMX Bandits.
What I got instead one ace Christmas morning was a Raleigh variant, a bike almost like a BMX that I loved. It may not have had stunt pegs, but it did have a panel at the front that looked like buttons so I could pretend I was firing missiles. Pew pew evil doers!
In my final year of Primary school we all had to take part in the cycling proficiency scheme. The instructor did not like BMXs or any variant of that kind of bike and reminded me constantly that he didn’t really want to pass me, despite the fact I did everything right. The best part was that you had to have a bell on your bike and my Dad fitted a retro electric bike bell that didn’t give a friendly ‘ding ding’ but instead a rather aggressive ‘HONK HONK!’
The instructor didn’t like that either. He’s probably dead now. That’ll teach him.
Written by Mark